“Welcome to the Island, yeah man”
Day 30 – Day 38
30th November 2016 – 8th December 2016
Mother said “less rambling please” – so in an attempt to follow this advice I have hand picked a few gems from my time in Saint Lucia… A tricky task in which I have probably not been successful!
We had made it and what followed can only be described as a seriously mental party night with Jean, Michel, Rachael, Jessikini, Pinky (may be known as Snoopy, Nick Martini, Andy or Andrea), Miguel (Swiss), The Josh and Swedish Olaf. Michel questioned Rachael about her state on the crossing: “Could you not have made the vegetable do something?” Hours later the crowd dispersed leaving the musicians behind. Michel heard faraway singing from his bed… The dulcet tones of a Yorkshire goddess bellowing in the distance. LOLA. Lucky thing I say…
A few days later was the Fruit Salid boat party take 3 and we made it! The Aussies had excelled themselves. Punch coming out my ears with sweet music – a saxophonist, guitarist and fiddlist. Random chat with Mickael, underground music producer, about how he has to pay attractive women to model clothing to promote his music… What has the world become!
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
We moved off Lady Biz pronto and into an airbnb located in the heart of the locals shabby chic shacks. We were surrounded by all the colours of the rainbow, each home with its unique style.
With Jess and Rachael by my side, we wandered the streets soaking it up, loving life.
“No pressure, no problem”
“Welcome to the Island”
“Take your time, chill. This is island life”
And from that moment on Jess became a Rasta, accent and all!
One morning we met Rasta Filip and Jean. Oh wow. “Try this. No try try” Jean, as she pours ‘Under The Counter’ into a shot glass whilst telling us to “give it to men for good sex!” Jean!! We then tried the golden apple and cocoa tea, slightly more up my street!
By the end of our time here it was clear that you had to leave 1 hour to complete a 10 minute walk, they were just so friendly! I never felt unsafe despite the bad press, only welcomed into the community.
In other news
Max is selling Lady Biz for €800,000! No joke. They have just spent 2 years preparing her for a 5 year sail around the world and now she’s a gonna. Perhaps sailing isn’t for them….
It’s not the destination, it’s the glory of the ride
In this case it’s both. After one hell of a street party, to cut the story short, we lost the purse. Don’t worry it had nothing in it bar our apartment key. Our only option at 0300 was to go back to the marina and hopefully find a boat to sleep on. The God’s were on our side and we bumped into Pinky and Miguel on the pontoon in the pouring rain – 2 minutes before and we may not have been so lucky. It was just like a meet cute, it was surreal. Onto Baby Blue we went. (Pinky the mad brilliance and Miguel the kind hearted soul – refer to Mindelo With Love post for more info).
The next day we headed to the Pitons, Soufriere, and what a journey. The main road was closed so we followed the detour into the mountains passing tiny villages on winding roads with an obscene number of pot holes. BANG! Into another hole, “Pinkyyyyyyy!!!” To note: on the bus home I never felt one pothole…. Sorry Pinky it may have been your top notch driving skills.
What incredible views and great conversations… Mixed in with some questionable directions.
“I think you’re on the right track in a sense” – not sure how helpful the directions were but the characters were priceless. “The kind of guy you take home for dinner” according to Pinky.
Pinky’s Zen Music (I highly recommend):
I’m an Albatrous, White Teeth Teens, Keep Talking, On top of the World, Jubel Save Me, Young Wild and Free, Royals, We R who we R, Ke$ha, Same Love (Fea), Blinded by rainbows Phox, Fast car (Feat)
Road signs: Whispering hills, Eat like a Boss, Del’s Rainforest Cafe, Massacre Ridge, Legal Hustler and many more crackers.
After 3.5 hours we had made it to Samfi gardens, Soufriere. It was euphoric.
New bird knowledge thanks to Pinky:
- Shear Water – black and white soaring, seen on crossing.
- Frigate – bird of prey seen here in Soufriere flying overhead like batman.
- Storm Petrol – small and erratic seen flying close to the water on the crossing.
- Tropical bird – white and squarky. I saw two on the last night of the crossing. The ones that brought the wind.
We visited the Diamond Waterfall and Botanical Gardens, the volcano, hot springs and mud bath. And goody gumdrops the sulphur smelt disgusting!!
How can you resist a bracelet from a guy who sells it as follows: “Mahogany and Sandlewood from the Island. Haematite volcanic rock from the earth. Black for the beautiful people. Red for the blood that we share. Yellow for the sun. Green for the lush vegetation of the Island.” Sold.
I found out that Soufriere lies on the weakest point of the fault line, a ticking time bomb… Great news! It’s a 12km² crator and the 2 Pitons are lava cones that have hardened.
Fruits found: Mango, cocoa, banana, papaya, breadfruit, coconut, grapefruit, chirimoya, nutmeg, avocado, passion fruit
Nicholas Pocock – Pinky’s great grandfather and nautical painter.
Petit Piton Expedition
Sign after sign!!! We headed to the Grande Piton, 2530ft. Although it’s slightly taller than the Petit Piton, 2461ft, it is much wider therefore easier to climb. On arrival, we were accosted by a guide who said we had to pay $35US per person. To climb a mountain!!! It was against my religion! After further discussion we decided to go on our own walk, I headed off along a track… To a dead end. But, on route we came across a guy up a scaffold who said it was free to climb the Petit Piton!! Wahooooo we were overjoyed and off we went. On arrival at Petit Piton another guide said it would cost $50US per person and it was illegal to climb independently. I was heart broken, we had prepared a picnic and everything!!
Moments later as we drove off head in hands, we passed a lady with lots of goats. Pinky in a desperate attempt to lift our spirits jumped out the car to have a chat. “She will show us the path” he yelled excitedly. We were out in a jiffy and the mountain climb began! I’m not talking a hike. I’m talking rocks, tree routes and near vertical scrambles.
We passed markers on route: a pink ribbon, a white flip flop, a red rope, a bandana wrapped around a tree, a white rope and carvings in the trees. Jess began to turn white with fear but I managed to coax her up with the promise of yummy snacks and a fantabulous view. That we had.
To celebrate we had a dip in the pool with a Piton, viewing our accomplishment. Later on, with further research, it was determined that the Petit Piton is only for hard core adventurers…
My time in the Pitons will never be forgotten, it really was special. My companions, the adventure and the feeling that things happen for a reason.
During my stay in Saint Lucia I met some great people who, at the very least, I will think of every now and then. The way of life here is contagious – relaxed, happy and thankful.
P.s. Lots of top notch photos on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/pigeonpictures